Meta Impact: Rusty Bardiche


The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche first appeared in the Legendary Hero Decks as a TCG exclusive. The Phantom Knights (PKs) are very popular, and PK Rusty did not disappoint its fans. At first glance, Rusty screamed card advantage and has been responsible for many of the powerful boards that any dark deck can dish out today.

Bardiche’s Promotion Tactics

Initially, Rusty Bardiche was a monster capable of grabbing up to 2 Phantom Knights’ Fog Blades from the deck. However, The Phantom Knights’ Rank-Up-Magic Launch caught attention when Raphael Neven won YCS Chicago using it with Lunalights. Although it was a blind second deck, his combo for going first involved ranking up into Outer Entity Azathot during the opponent’s turn. Because Azathot prevents the opponent’s monsters from activating their effects, summoning Azathot let Bardiche pop any card while freezing their board. Along with the Rank-Up spell, Rusty also provides a level 4 to ease the rank-up process with The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine. Since then many decks abused the rank-up spell to summon Azathot and even D/D/D Duo-Dawn King Kali Yuga. Many players had their turn practically skipped due to Rank-Up Launch. 

Eventually, the Phantom Knights Rank-Up spell was forbidden. Rusty Bardiche, however, lost very little.

Trusty Bardiche

Currently, Rusty Bardiche’s potential has peaked with Orcust strategies. Alone, Bardiche provides 2 PK traps, an additional PK monster on board, as well as a linked arrow for Galatea, the Orcust Automaton. Bardiche’s destruction effect is also capable of triggering during the opponent’s turn thanks to reviving Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star.

The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche is the best honorary Orcust monster in the game. Its fantastic synergy creates a whole new layer of available plays to the strategy. His Dark attribute synergizes with the Orcusts’ restriction and is incredibly easy to make with his 2+ Dark monsters recipe. The only thing missing is a Machine typing, but its Warrior typing is handy. The Orcust strategy becomes less susceptible by blowout cards like System Down and Chimeratech Fortress Dragon.

Outside the Orcustra

The Orcust engine is notorious for its splashability, but what about just Rusty Bardiche? Any deck with Dark monsters has access to PK Rusty Bardiche.

Dark is no doubt the strongest attribute there is since The Phantom Darkness set’s release back in 2008. The theme of using the GY as a 2nd resource has carried on to many popular strategies today. Especially now, it is incredibly easy to summon dark monsters on to the field. Although they may or may not be completely optimal, Dangers, BA, Time Thieves, and Pendulum summoning are few of the many ways darks can be summoned to the field. Even decks that struggle with summoning dark monsters can make Underclock Taker or Space Insulator to ease the process. It is definitely worth it though; Rusty alone provides fantastic Link arrows and 2 interruptions via Fog Blades.

Many decks are willing to risk bricking with Fog Blades and a minimal amount of PK monsters in order to utilize Bardiche. Whether or not that is healthy for the game is debatable, but it definitely shows how good Rusty Bardiche is.


The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche is no doubt an impactful monster since it came out. Its accessibility and ability to create advantage makes it see a ton of play. From Lunalights to Orcust, Rusty has been a reliable source of power plays. In fact, Rusty’s accessibility and power are borderline concerning and may need to be addressed in the near future.



YGOPRODeck Writer and YuGiOh Enthusiast. Lives in Southern California as an active player and judge. Favorite Color: Blue

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